Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thus Far.

So, got through a solid 25K this week. Nothing to sneeze at. Of course, it would be better if that was 25K in the Steampunk that I'm supposed to be working on. If I could get through 25k in that, I'd be done by now! Sigh. I'm a bad girl.

Well, at least I'm writing, right? And the sequel to Scar-Crossed does need to get written eventually. So, now I can pick from any of four sequels. Maybe I can make a choose your own adventure novel? Grar. In my own defense, I've been fussing with so many story lines that it was difficult to decide what to put in the sequel. Now I've made the executive decision to push one of the major issues off until the third book and focus on Lacey's discovery of who her father is and what that means for her in the second.

While I work on that, I'm attempting to live-wire the original passion that got me started on the Steampunk by reading the sequels to the two books that got me writing it in the first place. I just started Iron Angel and then I'll move on to Behemoth. We'll see how that goes. I'm also under the impression that because the Steampunk is yet unnamed it isn't yet a being. (This goes back to me feeling like my books are my children and my Anthropological background, don't ask.) So, I'm trying to think of a good title for it. Thinking being the operative word... I'm also going to have a Steampunk movie extravaganza. Hopefully it will get me to write some kick-butt action scenes.

In other news the final version of Scar-Crossed is with more than ten betas. Only one has finished so far and things look good from where she stands. They've got until Christmas to finish it up, but hopefully they'll finish sooner. *Everything crossable, crossed*

I'll also be working on attempting to remodel Will of the Fallen in the case that the Steampunk continues to allude me. I need to be able to show something else once Scar-Crossed gets accepted. Let's just hope I can figure out how to get someone excited about a longish book with a cliff hanger. Hello Tor.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Heart to Heart with Neek

This weekend I sat in on a panel at FaerieCon and I learned that I'm not the only author whose characters are like real people.

Odd, I know, but I think every other author will agree with me on this. No, we don't need meds and we're not all fans of
Inkheart. We're just really good at creating characters. So good, in fact, that sometimes it's almost like they have a life of their own. They become like children or friends. You end up having discussions and arguments with them. Sometimes they do things that you don't want them to do and then you have to figure out how to get them out of it. ...And as Maggie Stiefvater put it, sometimes you just get so frustrated with them that you have to drag them through a side story where they die horribly before you can get them to cooperate.

So, in light of that I decided to spin a little spoof between myself and one of the characters from my WIP. I've been having some problems because Neek (Nekehleis) is trying to jump the gun in this YA steampunk romance. So I think I'll let him try it his way and see what happens. *Sinister Smile* Maybe he'll cooperate after this. Hope you enjoy!

I’m about a quarter of the way through chapter twelve. Neek and Adelle are meditating after one of their classes. Neek opens one eye, peeks at Adelle. She’s got her eyes closed, her brow is furrowed in concentration and she’s got that pout she does. He thinks about how much he likes that intense expression on her face; how much he wants to touch the hair that spills around her face and shoulders; how hard she's trying to get this right -- all for that brat, Madlyn. Neek suddenly shakes his head.

I growl under my breath, annoyed that he’s interrupting my process. “What now?”

Neek takes a deep breath, lets it out. I stare at him expectantly, knowing he’s about to say something he knows I’m not going to like. “I’m going to kiss her.”

I blink. “What?" I squeak. "Now? You can’t do that!”

He cocks his head, stares at her lovingly. Oh, if only she saw that expression. She’d kill him for sure. “Why not?”

I throw up my hands, upsetting my tea and scaring the cat. “Are you stupid? She’s your enemy’s daughter!”

“Yeah, so?”

“So, she’s trying to kill you.” I start mopping up my tea.

“Yes, I know. I had a vision about that, remember? I’ve got that whole Solar Seer thing going for me.”

“See? Even Ehleis is trying to tell you that she’s trying to kill you. Use your head, Neek, I made you smart for a reason.”


“What if you mean “and?” Hello! If she kills you I won’t have a story and Ehleis won’t have a Blessing. We’re covering our asses here.”

Neek bites his lip. “Maybe if I kiss her, she won’t kill me.”

“If you kiss her I’ll have to make her kill you,” I say with a sigh. “I made her that way. The readers expect it.”

“I’ll take my chances and hope you like me enough not to let Adelle kill me. The readers will like it better if I kiss her. Sex sells.”

I get a bad mental image of attempting to navigate a love scene around Neek's wings and Adelle's ridiculous outfit. Scowling, I attempt a new approach. “Sleeping with the heiress of the Empire? The empire that’s besmirching the natural world with it’s mechanical abominations and alchemical warfare? Ehleis wouldn’t like it.”

Neek’s eyes widen. “No? I think it’s an excellent idea.”

“You’re seventeen, Neek, the only thought processes you have come through your penis.”

“Well, my penis thinks it’s an excellent idea,” Neek says with a shrug. “Besides, wasn’t Ehleis the one who told us to go forth and prosper?”

I cross my arms. “There’s no way in hell I’m letting you two prosper, Neek. This isn’t Twilight.”

Neek glances out the window. “No, I’d say it’s just about mid-morning. That's a great time for sex. We can have lunch afterward.”

I slap my palm against my forehead. “No it’s a- Oh, just forget it.”

“So,” Neek ventures cautiously. “Kissing Adelle?”

“If I had my way you’d wait a few chapters before doing that. I’m not responsible for what happens if you kiss her before she’s ready.”

Neek grins. “Of course not.”

I give him a worried look. He's really going to do it. Stupid kid. “She’s still carrying that dagger under her skirt.”

His grin grows a little wider. “I know.”

I lean back and give him my most petulant expression I can manage. “I really hate working with you sometimes.”

Neek cuts his eyes at me. “You’re no gift to fiction yourself, A.L.. I mean, violet eyes? Come on, even Lilith got it better than I did.”

"Oh, have I offended your masculinity?" I reach out, pull the keyboard closer, and threateningly settle my fingers back on home row. “It's not too late to make them pink. Now shut up and kiss her already, I want to get to the part where she circumcises you.”

Monday, November 15, 2010


So this past weekend I went to FaerieCon in Baltimore. Is it possible to be both disappointed and pleased with something? That's kind of how I feel about this con.

My biggest gripe was the lack of panels. I'm used to going to conventions that have like ten panels going on at once and this one had only one or two panel tracks. While I guess that's good cause then people can get to see everything they want to, it can make things boring for people who don't want to visit a particular panel and have walked around the dealers market eight times already. I was also expecting it to have more attendees. I guess it was still a pretty good size, but I was assuming it would be larger for some reason. In all it was a fine convention...I don't know, I guess my expectations were too high?

I can't complain about the music or dealers market, I also can't complain about the guest speakers/presenters. All of them were high caliber, professional, and wonderful. I mean Brian and Wendy Froud? HELLO?!

General commentary:

There were two panels given by authors of faerie, so obviously I went to both. It was great to get an insider's look at what other authors do/do not like about other pieces that are coming out in the genre. Two important ones: retain the idea of consequence (the negative aspect) and do your research! It was also great to hear about how other authors approach their craft. I kept nodding my head and wanting to answer questions that some of the audience members had. It's a great feeling when you know you've gotten far enough along as a writer that you feel comfortable enough with most questions being asked. It made me feel like I was ready for one of my own panels!

I got to meet a number of my favorite authors in the genre. It's no surprise that both Melissa Marr and Maggie Stiefvater are awesome people and super approachable. I had been really nervous because, I while am a fan, I wanted to approach them as a colleague. I also had to contend with a slight bit of social anxiety I get when I'm conversing with people that I want to impress. Lucky for me, Melissa had made a comment about young authors needing mentors and that any established author who received help when they first started out should return the Karmic favor. Since I consider both Maggie and Melissa to be very inspirational figures, I bit the bullet and stood in line to talk to them. All in all, it went well. I jumped in said my bit and got out before I turned beet red, although I didn't manage to avoid the shaking. I just tried to play it off like I had normative internal tremors, but I feel really bad for the girl who asked me to take a picture of her with Maggie, her pictures came out sort of blurry...Sorry!

The masquerade balls were...well, they didn't meet my expectations. The costumes were absolutely fabulous, the music was good, and the general ambiance was suitable. BUT PEOPLE WEREN'T DANCING! Hello, this is a ball! People dance at balls! Faeries dance when they hear music! To be fair, the music wasn't all that conducive to dance, unless you're expecting very slow emotive dancing -- which faeries do, but people kind of suck at. Don't get me wrong, the music was great, but not dance music. The Bad Faeries ball was a little better than the Good Faeries ball. Once Faun came on, people started moving around. But the issue with the Bad Faeries ball was that it was PACKED. It's hard to dance when you can't move. I was wearing feather wings and they got mauled. Tips for improvement: Livelier dance music, larger ballroom, and some hired dancers to break in the crowd.

I can't complain about the merchants. There was a crap ton of stuff and I wanted at least half of it. However, I limited myself. My Picks?

Renae Taylor. This artist has some of the most beautiful fantasy art I've ever seen. I first saw her at NY FaerieFest, then again at the NY Renaissance Faire, and finally caved when I saw her at Faeriecon.

Celine Chapus. I walked by her booth, did a double take, and practically pounced. I LOVE this artist. I have a weak spot for manga and anime, and her style falls neatly in the heart throb position. If there was an artist I'd give my book to and say "Go forth and draw this," it would be her. "I Will Find You" stole my heart.

Jasmine Becket-Griffith. Her art centers around mythical ladies who look like institutionalized Bratz dolls, but there is something absolutely lovable about each once of her creations. I wanted a large print of one of her renditions of Alice in Wonderland, but there weren't any more, so I went for a collection of Alice minis instead.

I didn't get anything from Jennifer Pierson, but gosh did I ever want to. If you ever want a pair of kick-ass faerie wings, this is your lady! If I go next year, I'm so getting one of her pieces!

Music: Out of five musical guests, Faun and Adam Hurst stood out. I have a weakness for bagpipes and cellos, so that might have something to do with it...certainly more to do with it than my weakness for attractive blond guys :) haha, no seriously, their music is haunting and electrical. Not excitement electrical, but buzz down your nerves, soul shiver electrical. When your soul wants to get out and start moving, then you know you've found something delicious.

All in all, I had more fun than disappointment. As long as next year's programming proves to be as good as this years, then I'll probably go again. Especially since now, I know what to expect and plan accordingly.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


It's official. I seriously need to be a better blogger. Why?


Yeah, that's why.

This is my happy story: So, I finished Scar-Crossed in December. I had my betas read and finished edits in February. Started querying in March. Heard back from Agent 1 in May asking for a partial. Agent 1 asked for the full. Agent 1 wants me to try a re-write. I re-write and send back in August. In September Stella Price convinces me to try pitching to some small press editors at Authors After Dark, a para-rom conference I was going to be attending. I was like, "Eh, okay."

Little did I know that she signed me up with an agent as well. So, I pitched Agent 2 and she was like, "I like the idea. If Agent 1 doesn't take it, then I'll look at it." I proceed to get to know Agent 2 while at the convention and come to the conclusion that she's an awesome lady.

One week later, Agent 1 turns me down. I send Scar-Crossed to Agent 2. Agent 2 emails me, wants to talk on the phone. We talk on the phone. Agent 2 isn't even done and she wants to represent me. I'm like, "HOLY CRAP." Coolest part? She even offered to try and get any other agents I preferred to take a look at it. That's what sold me. She cares enough about my success as an author to give up a manuscript that she was willing to take before she was even done reading it. Since then I've come to think she's even more awesome. Top reasons my agent is awesome: She gets back to me in a timely fashion, communicates well, is willing to invest time and effort in me -- this includes phone conversations that go over an hour (even though I'm a newbie), and she's interested in humanitarian efforts which just makes her a good person.

So, I'm not really all that bothered by missing out on Agent 1 because I really like who I ended up working with. :) Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Agency is my agent and I'm darn proud of it!